Let's look at a famous text that mentions the Timing of Fulfillment.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. What is going on here? What did it mean to say the scripture is fulfilled? It meant that at the time Jesus stood up and read it, the word of the Lord in His mouth was truth. For anyone else, at any other time, to get up and read those verses would have been a lie. More exactly, the reader would have only been reading what it said, with no idea or intention of being taken seriously or having any truth. If you or I got up and read those words aloud, and the Holy Spirit was not leading us, it would just be a lot of noise.
1 Corinthians 13:1
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
One of the special things about the bible is that you cannot draw any conclusions based on the tense of a scripture. The example from Isaiah above was written in present tense, but from Isaiah's viewpoint, it pointed to something to happen in the future. From our viewpoint, it points to something that happened in the past. When John wrote I saw it's past tense but points to the future. Here he is seeing into the future, but it is written in past tense.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Here's an example of something written in present and future tense, but has already past.
17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
The quote from Revelation has not been fulfilled yet. The one from Genesis has. Now look at this one.
1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
The quote from Hosea was fulfilled in Exodus, yet according to Matthew it was fulfilled centuries later in the life of Jesus. This is a case of double fulfillment.
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
Here's a case where it's not so clear as to fulfillment.
1 John 3:2
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Suppose someone preached and based a teaching on the 'fact' that Now we are the sons of God. After all, they could claim, the bible says Now and that means now! Right. Well is this scripture 1 John 3:2 fulfilled or not. See what it says in Romans.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
There is a catch here isn't there. You have to be led by the Spirit. And the Spirit has to bear witness with us. A teaching based on the 'fact' that Now we are the sons of God, depends on the teacher and the listeners being led by the Spirit. If that's not the case, then there is no truth in it. We're not talking about being able to hear from the Spirit, or having a Gift from the Spirit. We're talking about being led by the Spirit on a full time basis; 24 by 7 by 365. You can't be a Son of God one day and revert back to your old self the next. That's not being led by the Spirit.
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
To be a Son of God, you have to be dead to the flesh, and born of the Spirit; This is the Kingdom of God.
So the verse that says Now we are the Sons of God is not yet fulfilled. You may find as you look through First John, that it is written in present tense, yet it speaks of a future condition or time.
Another good example is those who say we are not under the law, we're under grace. What does the bible say?
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
A lot of people want to take this verse, Romans 6:14 and run with it. But if you check out what it says in Galatians 5, you will see that there is that same condition, being led by the Spirit.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
So are we under the Law or not? Perhaps Romans 6 has not been fulfilled yet. Here is another passage in present tense that is not yet fulfilled.
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
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